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Rutgers men’s basketball hosting multiple recruits in June

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Several intriguing prospects will visit Piscataway in the coming weeks.

NCAA Basketball: Fairleigh Dickinson at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The beginning of the month of June marks a major milestone in the world of college basketball recruiting.

Starting this month, in-person recruitment visits are now allowed after a 15 month dead period as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With the return to in-person visits, the Scarlet Knights have several visits lined up for recruits in the Class of 2022 and 2023. Here is a look at some of the recruits who will be visiting the university in the coming weeks:

PF Dominick Barlow: Class of 2022

NJ Advance Media contributor Adam Zagoria reported that three-star power forward Dominick Barlow was the first recruit to visit Rutgers on June 1. The trip was labeled as an unofficial visit.

Barlow, who is listed at 6’8” 205 lbs., brings a combination of skill and athleticism that is rarely seen for players of his size. Combined with a clear ability to shoot the basketball, he seems to have no problem handling the ball and initiating offense for himself, a skill that all young players need to possess nowadays in order to find success at the next level.

Currently, the Dumont, NJ native has six offers from Pittsburgh, Farleigh Dickinson, Providence, Quinnipiac, Saint Peter’s and Rutgers. The Knights just recently offered a scholarship to Barlow, who has drawn support from Ron Harper Jr. and Cliff Omoruyi on their Instagram pages.

PG Ben Shtolzberg: Class of 2022

Following Barlow’s unofficial visit this week, the Scarlet Knights will host Class of 2022 point guard Ben Shtolzberg on an official visit this weekend, according to NJ Advance Media. Rutgers officially offered Shtolzberg, who is listed at 6’3” 190lb, on April 21.

Shtolzberg can be best described as a pure scorer with an ability to score on all three levels with ease. Going more in depth on his ability to score on three levels, he displays excellent footwork while finishing around the basket, has a knockdown mid-range jump shot that he steps into with confidence and he is absolutely lights out from three-point range. This is all before I mention the other impressive part of his game; his guard skills. Shtolzberg looks more than comfortable operating the pick and roll and dishing the ball amongst his teammates, leading to easy looks for his teammates as well as himself. It is clear why Steve Pikiell is high on Shtolzberg’s potential.

“What stands out with Rutgers is the opportunity for a skilled lead guard who can create for himself and his teammates on a great program,” Shtolzberg said in a recent conversation with Stockrisers’ Jake Weingarten. “Also, (Steve Pikiell) has really elevated the program since he has been there which speaks volumes about the culture and identity of the team.”

Rutgers will not be alone in the race for the rising star in the 2022 class. The Northridge, CA native holds offers from several other schools, including Big Ten rivals Northwestern and Nebraska.

G Jahnathan Lamothe: Class of 2023

On June 9th, the Scarlet Knights will welcome top 50 recruit Jahnathan Lamothe, a highly-talented combo guard from Baltimore, MD who is a member of the class of 2023, according to Jake Weingarten.

Similar to other recruits that will be visiting Piscataway this month, Lamothe has limited film available from this past season as a result of the pandemic. Despite this, while analyzing the footage that is available on Lamothe, it’s easy to see why Lamothe is on Steve Pikiell’s radar. Listed at 6’4” 180lb, he already has excellent size for the position with room to grow. With his size, he shows an ability to make big plays on the defensive end as well as provide hustle plays to give his team opportunities to score, something that is well-known to be of high value to a coach like Pikiell.

Rutgers officially offered Lamothe a scholarship this past September, joining schools such as Pittsburgh, Creighton and Seton Hall.

G Dasonte Bowen: Class of 2022

The buzz is high for Dasonte Bowen, a talented four-star guard out of Massachusetts who has collected offers from big time programs such as Iowa, Maryland and USC. Rutgers offered Bowen a scholarship in October 2019.

Like Lamothe, it is unclear whether Bowen was unable to play basketball this winter since there is little to no film on him from this past season. However, while taking a look at his game from clips from a few seasons ago, it is clear why Bowen is a sought-after recruit. Listed at 6’3”, he has the size, speed and quickness to make an impact at any level he wishes. Along with his natural gifts, he also appears to have well-refined point guard skills, easily setting up teammates for alley oops and three pointers.

The Scarlet Knights will welcome Bowen on an official visit sometime this month, per Dushawn London of 247sports.

G Chas Kelley: Class of 2022, F Isaiah Miranda: Class of 2023

In April, Steve Pikiell and his staff offered scholarships to two prospects from the Phelps School in Malvern, PA; 2022 guard Chas Kelley and 2023 forward Isaiah Miranda.

Starting with Kelley, the 6’5” Houston, TX native offers good size for his position to go along with an impressive array of playmaking skills for a player at his age. He also uses his height to his advantage, often making impressive passes over smaller defenders to open teammates. From his highlight tape, he seems to have a solid jump shot to go along with his playmaking abilities.

According to NJ Advance Media, Kelley is slated to make an unofficial visit to Rutgers “sometime between June 8th-11th”.

As for Miranda, he may be the most unique prospect out of all of the players listed in this article.

Standing at 7’0”, Miranda’s game is fully immersed in the modern big-man play style that is so commonly seen today. In his highlight tape, there are as much highlights of him taking players off the dribble for a pull-up three-pointer as there are traditional post ups and dunks. He also uses his incredible size to his advantage, blocking several shots and being an all-around disruptor on the defensive end. Having two years left in high school, Miranda also has plenty of time to grow as a player before he moves on to the next level. Players like Miranda have unlimited potential, and if Pikiell and his staff can secure a commitment out of the 2023 forward, the program will be in fantastic shape moving forward.

There is no set date for Miranda’s unofficial visit to Piscataway, but it is expected to come sometime in June, as reported by Matt Agnoli of 247sports. Other notable schools to offer on Miranda include Seton Hall and Virginia Tech.

The return to in-person recruiting signals a long-awaited return to normalcy in the world of college basketball. While the rise of the transfer portal has dramatically altered the landscape of the sport, recruiting will still play an integral role towards building a successful and long-lasting program. Recruitment of not always the highest-ranked players, but the right players, has been the backbone of Steve Pikiell’s success in his five years in Piscataway. Just look at players such as Geo Baker, Ron Harper Jr., Myles Johnson, and Caleb McConnell. If Pikiell wants to replicate the success of last season for years to come, recruiting will still remain absolutely vital.